What is Amazon Vendor Central?
It is (basically) that simple. Amazon Vendor Central simplifies the sometimes extremely complicated process of selling on Amazon by removing the need for you to handle customer service, shipping, and returns. You as a business owner need only to send Amazon what they have paid for, and the nitty-gritty of selling to customers, handling returns and exchanges, and figuring out shipping is handled by Amazon and their elite network of resources.
Best of all, you are able to monitor, track, and update any and all pertinent information involved in your relationship with Amazon through a single platform. Via Vendor Central, you are able to ensure purchase orders are received, fulfill orders, give Amazon all the information they will need about your products, and more.
How is Vendor Central Different from Seller Central?
While often confused, the differences in vendor central vs. seller central are actually quite vast, each serving very different purposes. With Vendor Central, as mentioned above, you sell directly to Amazon, and they sell the products purchased directly to the consumer. With Amazon Seller Central, you sell directly to customers via the Amazon marketplace as a third party seller.
With Amazon Seller Central, you have access to the Amazon marketplace and all the benefits of selling on Amazon. However, with Seller Central, you are in charge of ensuring sales are being made, orders are fulfilled, customer relations are good, returns and exchanges are being processed accurately and in a timely manner, and so on. With Amazon Vendor Central, you simply sell your product to Amazon and enjoy the benefits of selling via the Amazon marketplace without the work of being one of the third party marketplace sellers.
With the Amazon Vendor Central platform, Amazon handles the painstaking details of selling, leaving you to focus on more important aspects of your business.
Another important yet subtle distinction to be made between Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central relates to the Fulfillment by Amazon program. Choosing Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA, requires a third-party seller to ship their inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center, where it will be picked, packed, and shipped by Amazon after being purchased. For Amazon Vendor Central users, you sell your product directly to Amazon, making them solely responsible for all transactions beyond that point. In other words, FBA requires you to pay Amazon to handle fulfillment, and Amazon Vendor Central takes all fulfillment responsibilities out of your hands.
Features of Amazon Vendor Central
Amazon Vendor Central, as the main hub for vendors to communicate with Amazon, has a large variety of features available. Here are some of the most important features for vendors to explore and learn how to use:
Advertising:- The Advertising Console is a separate portion of the Amazon Vendor Central hub. Previously known as Amazon Marketing Services or AMS, this feature allows you to manage and communicate with Amazon about ad campaigns for your products. As a vendor, you are given unparalleled access to Amazon Advertising, including Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads), and Product Display Ads. Vendors are also able to pay extra in order to be featured in email advertisements or product category pages.
Items:- Here, you as a vendor are able to provide Amazon with information on your products. This includes editing costs, uploading images, and providing additional product-related information to Amazon. This information is safe from tampering, though it must be approved and meet Amazon guidelines.
Merchandising:- This feature allows you to handle the marketing of your products via features like Amazon Vine and A+ Content. This allows you to take advantage of word of mouth marketing and Amazon reviews.
Orders:- Here you will receive purchase orders from Amazon, and in return provide them with shipping information.
Payment:- In payments, you will find your invoices and remittances.
Reporting:- The Reporting feature allows you to see the analytics and data on how your business is doing.
The features of Amazon Vendor Central can be an excellent resource for managing your relationship with Amazon as a vendor, but they may take some time to get used to. If you haven’t had an Amazon Seller Central account or Amazon Vendor Central account before, you may need some practice to best use these features, but with time, Vendor Central will become an invaluable asset to how you run your business.
Benefits of Selling on Amazon Vendor Central
The benefits of participating in Amazon Vendor Central and having your products seen on Amazon are plentiful and start with ease of use. Doing business with Amazon through Vendor Central is so incredibly easy, and allows you as a business owner and seller to focus on other areas of your business. As a vendor for Amazon, your only focus will be to fulfill purchase orders, bill Amazon, and avoid mistakes during those two steps. This incredibly simple business model is the core of the value of Amazon Vendor Central and allows you to avoid the stress of handling customer service and returns.
Whether it be to purchase, ‘window’ shop, or leave product reviews, consumers trust Amazon. Not only do consumers trust Amazon, but consumers also trust other consumers. Selling via Amazon Vendor Central gives you access to Amazon marketing services like A+ Content, where you can have your product reviewed by top consumers, helping to build conversation and give you a sales boost.
The Amazon Vendor Central platform gives brands access to advertising tools and opportunities to have their products seen by shoppers. You are able to do this by driving demand via ad campaigns and strategic keyword planning. This feature, which may take a bit more time to learn, can drastically improve your advertising possibilities, and increase sales and conversation surrounding your product.
Brand and Product Authenticity
Turning over your products to a new company, and giving them permission to sell your product without your involvement can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, Amazon gives vendors using Amazon Vendor Central the opportunity to have full control over their product listings. As a vendor, you are responsible for sending Amazon all relevant product data, and for writing and setting up product listings. This can be done in several ways, either by uploading information from a catalog or manually entering the product information. This gives you complete control over the product title, description, bullet points, and the wholesale price.
Once Amazon has approved your listing information, it is put on Amazon, and remains consistent. These listings are not susceptible to hijacking, in which dishonest Amazon sellers submit false listings in order to claim or take over a product listing. This is only one of the added bonuses of selling via Amazon Vendor Central. Listings must be created in Vendor Central, meaning Amazon itself must receive it from the vendor (you) before creating a listing and must remain true to the dominant first-party listing information. This also helps to ensure you feel your products and brand are being properly represented, and that all pertinent information or information relevant to customers in search of your product is intact and unaltered.
As of now, Amazon Vendor Central is an invite-only platform, so thus far there is no simple form to fill out in order gain access to Amazon. Instead, you must wait for Amazon to invite you to sell your products via Vendor Central.
Luckily, even with the massive array of products available through Amazon, there is always demand for new or updated products. Amazon understands the desire on behalf of consumers to find new and exciting products and therefore has recruitment teams all over the world specifically seeking out new brands with exciting new products. Every year, Amazon sends Vendor Central invites to a wide variety of businesses. Their criteria and methods for finding and selecting businesses include:
- Brands with high demand from Amazon shoppers: These are brands or companies whose products are often sought out by Amazon shoppers, usually larger or more popular brands, though smaller brands with niche followings also fall into this category.
- Brands being sold via the Amazon marketplace that show promise or are being sold extremely well: These brands are either being sold through the Amazon Seller Central platform or are in some way a third party seller for Amazon already. These brands are chosen based on merit shown while selling on Amazon, or popularity gained while selling on Amazon.
- Brands discovered at shows or fairs that have particularly interesting or attractive products: These brands are found by Amazon’s recruitment teams. They scour shows and fairs all over the world to find the best and most interesting new products out there.
For vendors selling on Amazon via Amazon Vendor Central, there are plenty of integration options to choose from. Two of the best options are SAP Business One and NetSuite Vendor Central.
- SAP Business One Amazon Integration: This integration allows you to create an even better retail experience for your customers, and a better business experience for yourself. By integrating SAP Business One with Amazon Vendor Central, you have access to all the information you need to drive and improve your business. This integration allows you to have more control, and learn more about your business. SAP Business One helps eliminate data errors and communication breakdowns by syncing updates on inventory, purchase orders, and sales orders between SAP Business One and Amazon Vendor Central.
- NetSuite Vendor Central Integration: With the NetSuite Vendor Central integration, you are able to improve workflow in order to best manage your business. NetSuite ensures you have all the information and data you need to help you and your team have better control over profitability. NetSuite provides data on sales, inventory, forecasting, demand planning, and much more. The integration helps you import customers and sales, export information to Amazon, manage orders, track products sold, synchronize inventory reports with Amazon, and much more.
Are you interested in learning more about omnichannel sales and marketing techniques? Here at Mobility eCommerce we are dedicated to helping wholesalers, distributors, retailers, drop shippers, product companies, and manufacturers improve their businesses and improve gain new opportunities.